Hello Exam Seekers,
We are almost at the end of the analysis of the Reading and Use of English part of the B2 First exam – former FCE. So, if you have just landed in the blog, you can check out the previous parts here, here, here, here, and here. For parts 1 to 4, the focus is on Use of English, while for parts 5 to 7 there are only reading exercises.
The Gapped Text consists of a text which had some of the sentences removed, and your job is to put them in the correct place. Just like part 5, this activity accounts two marks for every correct answer. Therefore, since there are six gaps, you can score up to 12 marks here. So, it may be a good idea to save some extra time to do this exercise. Also, even though there are six gaps, there are seven sentences; thus there is one you will not need.
Since this exercise focuses on understanding the structure and development of texts, something I used to do when studying for this part was to get an article, for instance, and remove some parts of its paragraphs. Then, I would try and put them back in the correct answer according to the flow and to what I thought made more sense. I should say that this was one of the parts I struggled most with. Therefore I practiced it even more than the other ones.
Different from what I said before about reading the questions first before delving into the text, this time you should read it thoroughly, somehow ignoring the gaps so you can have a broader idea of the text. This way it will be easier to find out the most relevant extract for each gap.
Also, when you need to match the sentences, focus on the previous and the following sentence of the paragraph. Additionally, if the gap is at the beginning of the paragraph, it is also a good idea to check out the previous paragraph to grasp the idea they will develop in the following paragraph, as well as what comes next. The reason for that is, you will need to find an extract that connects both ideas. Thus, it will begin with a connection to the previous sentence, and it will end with the idea that will be continued in the following one.
Check out the example below.
Check out the first gap. If you try and read the previous and the following sentences solely, chances are the choice of the right fragment will still be dubious. However, once you read the previous paragraph and mainly the last sentence, you will have a clearer idea of the most appropriate answer. Since it talks about pain and bodies at breaking point, and the sentence after the gap mentions something about human capacity, the correct fragment is letter D. Due to the fact that it connects the idea of being extreme – pain and bodies at breaking point – to the idea of not being dangerous – within the capacity of the healthy human body.
Moving on to the second gap, the main idea is the ritual of a ballet dancer. The sentence before the gap talks about this routine and the need for it to start early. Then, the following one talks about an extended period – a lengthy period – and also mentions flexibility, which is a physical aspect. The fragment that connects both sentences would be the one in letter G, which suggests regular practice – the daily ritual – and highlights the time taken to become an expert in any physical discipline – lengthy time and flexibility.
Following this line of thought, finish this sample. You can even share with us in the comments section below the path you went through to choose the answers.
Now do the exercise below. Try to use the strategies mentioned above to help make it easier to match the sentences to the gaps.
As you already know – if you have been with us in the past few weeks, following the posts about B2: First -, all the examples are from the Cambridge website. They made two samples available for you to practice for the exams, and we use them to help illustrate what you will find in each and every part of them as well as give you some tips in order to make it easier for you to succeed in the exams.
Below are the answers to both samples. After checking them, share with us your thoughts on this activity. Was it a piece of cake? Did you have a hard time doing it? What were the easiest and hardest parts? Are you still a bit insecure about this exercise? Why? Let us know so we can bring you some extra tips to help you excel on the exam!
Have a great week,
Eve and Patty